Are you a desperate freelance writer, often running out of work and having dry periods where you’re frantic for income?
It seems like the vast majority of freelance writers I know are in this boat.
It’s terrifying, waking up in the morning and knowing no money is coming in. Often, that terror paralyzes you, so you don’t even do the marketing that’s urgently needed to drum up more clients.
By contrast, some freelancers never run out of assignments, and have billings every month. When I started back in as a freelancer in 2005, I vowed to be in this second category. After all, I had a family of five to feed!
I did it, too — I fairly quickly built a stable of clients where I always had work. I never had a ‘down’ month with no earnings. Seriously! Not in all of the 7 years, through 2011, where freelance writing was my entire income.
What makes the difference between feast-or-famine and steady income? For many freelancers, it’s finding one particular type of client: The fill-in client.
These clients may not pay as great as some of your other clients, but they’ve got as much — or as little — work as you need to supplement your other gigs, month after month. They fill in the holes, smooth out your income, and keep you from biting your nails or emptying your savings because you’ve hit a rough patch.
To help you land this valuable type of client, let’s first define what a good fill-in client looks like. Then, I’ll talk about how you land a fill-in client — and keep them happy.